When a designer like Jean Paul Gaultier sends two (mis-)matched outfits down the catwalk in tandem, he usually has complex gender issues or some other statement in mind. In the case of Paul Smith's spring/summer show, on the other hand, the pairing up of models mostly seemed like a good excuse to double the amount of merchandise on display. That's Smith for youa born (and brilliant) merchant.
The passing parade of twins, brothers, and looky-likeys gave the audience the chance to compare and contrast smooth and rough versions of the same item: here, the jeans in white, there in indigo; here the shirt with the collar, there without; here the linen knit in a crewneck, there in a cardigan; and so on. Amid such a volume of clothes, the standouts were the outfits that best expressed Smith's sparky casualness: a blanket-stitched suede shirt-jacket paired with camo shorts; plaid pants with an army-green shirt in fine cotton; seersucker trousers with shirts in a sprigged-floral print.
It's perhaps worth noting that this collection was the last for creative director Hakan Rosenius, who is departing for Asprey after 23 years at Smith's side. It was a suitably subtle swan song for such an unflashily successful collaboration.